A wonderful journey to the scrapyard

Today was a little dirtbaggier than some days.  Today we took a trip to the scrapyard!

Granted, the trip wasn’t epic in terms of distance.  It’s half a block away (which means that our street is often full of both scrappies and little blown-around bits of trash and debris.)  It was epic in that we’d been hoarding metal for a few months, including a dead washer and dryer.  All together, it all just fit into the van:

Scrap load

While N. made sure we hadn’t left any random metal bits behind (necessary when de-hoarding), I took a moment to document several things in one photograph: the backyard, me and my camera, and part of the vanload of scrap:

Self portrait

We had a little copper wire and aluminum scrap, which fetch higher prices and are weighed separately.  Most of it was steel, which makes up the bulk of scrap in general.  If you’ve got a significant amount of metal onboard, instead of weighing it onto a smaller scale you drive your scrap-filled vehicle onto a scale built into the ground.  You then drive out back and unload your scrap into a big pile.


Today the pile smelled like a zoo.  Usually it doesn’t really smell that bad.  You can find all kinds of interesting things in there if you take a minute to look around, or you could just sling everything out onto the top in a series of loud crashes.  Fun fact: Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ was blasting in the warehouse/office area.  Another new frontier.

It’s shaping up to be a good summer for feeling like a “studmuffin,” which was the term at our girls’ summer camp for those excelling in feats of strength and skill.  Whether it’s shoveling truckloads of wood chips in and out of the van, fixing up people’s broken houses bit by bit, kneading bread for fifteen minutes at a time, or helping load and unload half a ton of scrap metal, my arms have become much less like pathetic spaghetti than they were in, say, midwinter.

4700 pounds

On the way out the vehicle gets weighed again and the difference is what you get paid for.  You can just see the number 4700 on the digital display; I guesstimate that at least 700 pounds of that involve my biceps.

And let’s just say that you’re still not convinced I’m a dirtbag.  You might say “But on Easter you wore pearls!” and “You sure read a lot of medieval English lit for a dirtbag.”  I counter with the fact that my work boots (12-hole Docs from Salvation Army) gave me a blister that was interfering with my work sneakers (found in the trash during sophomore year) and I was in a hurry so slapped on a little duct tape.

Blister cure


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